The new Beidou F9 and Beidou Chi – a 5″ or a 4.5″ quad-core smartphone for $129
There are many cheap smartphones in China, that’s for sure. Local device makers churn out new models every week, and they’re all priced to sell incredibly well. The two handsets we’re talking about here are no exception.
Beidou (not to be confused with Baidu, China’s largest search engine) has announced the new version of its F9 Android-powered smartphone, pictured below. This time around it’s got some upgraded specs (namely the processor, the amount of RAM, and overall polish). The new innards make it close to the Beidou Chi in terms of specs, and both phones are priced at the same, incredibly affordable 799 yuan. That’s $129 at today’s exchange rate.
So what do you get for that incredibly small amount of dough? Let’s start with the Chi. It features a 5-inch touchscreen, a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, an 8 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage, and a 2,000 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
There are obviously caveats, though. The huge one is that the 5-inch screen comes with 480×854 resolution, which means you’ll be able to count pixels without trying too hard. The chipset used is MediaTek’s MT6589, extremely popular among Chinese phone makers for its affordability. It is, however, based on ARM’s Cortex-A7 design, which isn’t as well performing as the Cortex-A15 seen in Nvidia’s Tegra 4, for example. Still, it’s a quad-core CPU on a phone that costs $129.
On the other hand, the refreshed Beidou F9 comes with a smaller touchscreen that manages to be higher-res too. A 4.5-inch 540×960 unit is in there, which is definitely decent enough for the price. The F9 has otherwise identical specs to the Chi, aside from the battery capacity, which is 2,100 mAh here.
It really is amazing what you can get for little over $100 nowadays. Obviously though, these great deals are only available in China. Speaking of availability, the new Beidou F9 should be in stores on May 14, which is exactly one week from now.